“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 NLT
God is creating weakness in our lives in order to drive us to Him. Our weaknesses are meant to create dependence upon Him alone. He’ll spend decades cultivating weakness in our lives.
There is only one hero in this story we find ourselves and that hero is Jesus Christ
Brother Lawrence gives us a picture of almost pathetic weakness and dependence during his time as a cook and dishwasher for a monastery in the 1600s.
“He was a great awkward fellow, who broke everything.”
“When he had failed in his duty, he simply confessed his fault, saying to God, I shall never do otherwise if Thou leavest me to myself; ‘tis Thou must hinder my fallings, and mend what is amiss.’
Brother Lawrence was lame which made simple tasks much more difficult, including traveling to Burgundy to buy the provision of wine for the monastery. On many occasions, he could hardly remember how the task was accomplished except God helped him moment by moment.
“He accustomed himself to do everything for the love of God, and with prayer, upon all occasions, for His grace to do his work well.”
“We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, for He regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.”
“The higher perfection a soul aspires after, the more dependent it is upon Divine Grace.”
Before setting about his work in the kitchen, he prayed, “O MY GOD, since Thou art with me, and I must now, in obedience to Thy commands, apply my mind to these outward things, I beseech Thee to grant me the grace to continue in Thy Presence; and to this end, do Thou prosper me with Thy assistance, receive all my works, and possess all my affections.”
Closing Story: Whitewater rafting trip in West Virginia with Youth For Christ. Almost lost our foreign exchange student from Hungary when a girl grabbed onto him for dear life after their raft tipped over. She was just a little thing but her fear of drowning drove her to cling to anything or anybody within reach. Her utter helplessness and weakness caused her to grab ahold of the exchange student. “I’m going to die unless someone else acts on my behalf.”
As Kingdom Writers, we MUST cling to Jesus with all of our beings, knowing how utterly weak we are. He will uphold us one word at a time, one sentence at a time, one paragraph, one chapter, one finished book at a time. HE’S the hero of the story, not you & I.
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We talked about publishing short Kindle books last month. If you publish short books, I recommend creating a Kindle series around your main topic. Your series title can be related to your main topic. Then, each small book can focus on a specific problem within that topic.
Publishing a book series helps you build authority in that niche; people will eventually know that you know your stuff.
One of the first series that I created was my vegetarian cookbook series. There were seven books in the series and they sold really well. Each book in the series then promoted the others.
Instead of having one cookbook with ALL the recipes, I broke it down by topic as follows:
By now, you should be getting the idea.
What seems to work best is when you have six or seven books in the series. That seems to be the sweet spot, where Amazon starts promoting the other books for you and doing some advertising for you. They do this by displaying your book on “Customers who bought this also bought” or sending out promotional emails about your books.
You may think that six to seven books sound like too much work! However, if you think about writing 10,000 words per book or 60,000-70,000 words for the entire series, this is less content than some full-length novels. Therefore, when writing a Kindle series, think about it as if you are writing one big book in small chunks of six or seven smaller eBooks.
It is powerful.
I want you to really consider writing a series and finishing one book per month. If you do this, your entire series will be finished in less than seven months.
And the benefits of publishing your series can last a lifetime. Here are just a few of the benefits possible to you as a Kindle author:
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Since taking up running over 13 years ago, I’ve (CJ) learned the importance of a proper warm-up. Whether I’m preparing for a key speed workout or long run, my rule of thumb is to keep the first two miles nice and easy. Rather than forcing my legs to move faster in the beginning, I simply put one foot in front of the other and allow my legs to gradually warm up and get acquainted with movement.
I’ve had many days where I wanted to bail in the first couple miles of a run due to “not feeling it.” But if I stick with it, the legs and body usually turn a corner and I’m rewarded with a delightful run. Some might call it tapping into the “runner’s high.”
As a Christian writer, I’ve also learned the value of a good warm-up. It can sometimes take 30 minutes to allow our spirits to calm and the outside noise to quiet down. Just as an athlete needs a proper warm-up, Christian writers can also benefit by easing into a writing flow.
Rather than coming out of the gate charging hard, why not play some peaceful music while prayerfully inviting God to lead us in our thoughts. We might even imagine Jesus commanding ‘Peace be still’ as he calms the storms within us.
Our spiritual enemy tries to tempt us to bail on our writing in the first few minutes. We may be tempted to say, “I’m just not feeling it today.” But just like in running, things could turn a corner if we’ll just stick with it and push through the negative feelings.
Give yourself some grace in the beginning of a writing session by including a writing warm-up.
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